Facts and figures about the Queen's love of horse racing - and the Grand National due to be run at Aintree on Saturday April 9
One of the biggest horse races of the calendar, the Grand National, will be run at Aintree on Saturday April 9.
We look at facts and figures surrounding the Grand National and one of the nation's biggest horse racing fans - the Queen.
The team at https://www.britishracecourses.org has put together 10 facts about the Queen and her horses.
1 Queen Elizabeth II has been riding since she was 4 years old, when her father King George VI gave her a Shetland pony named Peggy.
2 The Queen Mother was an avid National Hunt Racing fan, Princess Anne and her daughter Zara Phillips both became top event riders and the Princes William and Harry both play polo.
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3 All the horses that you see in the royal parades are kept at the Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace, “one of the finest working stables in existence.” The Queen names each horse.
4 The Royal Mews is where they keep all the carriages, coaches and cars used by the Queen.
5 The Queen is famous for always riding without a helmet.
6 The Queen owns many racehorses, having initially inherited the breeding and racing stock from her father King George VI.
7 As of 2013, horses owned by the Queen have won over 1600 races. She has had winners in all of the British Classics except the Grand National.
8 Queen has actually made £7.6 million from her race winnings.
9 Monty Roberts AKA The Horse Whisperer has trained the Queens horses since 1989. He has been honoured by the Queen and is a honorary member of the Royal Victorian Order. They have shared a close friendship since he began training her horses. She even named a Corgi after him.
10 The Queen breeds Thoroughbreds, fell ponies, Shetland ponies and Highland ponies.
Facts About the Grand National
1 The queen has never won the Grand National race.
2 The Queen is said to have had her first riding lesson at the age of three, so it is fair to say the Queen’s love for horses started at a very young age.
3 In 1952 King George VI died, and the Queen inherited the throne and also her father’s breeding and racing horses.
4 Every year the Queen's favourite event is said to be Royal Ascot.
5 The Queen’s own horses have competed in many races over the years, and, on 71 occasions, have even won the event.
6 The royal family has played a huge role in owning, training and riding horses at the Grand National racing event.
7 With more than 1,000 horse racing victories it is a shame they have never won a Grand National.
8 The closest chance of winning the Grand National was when Devon Loch had a five-length lead over his nearest challenger and inexplicably fell on the final straight, just 40 yards from a certain victory.
9 The first-ever Grand National race took place on Tuesday 26 February 1839 and attracted a field of 17 runners.
10 According to historical Grand National Stats, the first race was held in 1839 and was called the Grand Liverpool Steeplechase which later became known as the Grand National.
11 The first Grand National race was held at Aintree Racecourse near Liverpool, England and the horse called Lottery won the racing event.
12 The largest field ever assembled was 66 horses in the 1929 Grand National race.
13 The 1929 Grand National featured the most starters in the race when 66 runners lined up.
14 The safety limit for the 2022 Grand National is 40 runners and there will never be another time the field will be so large and have 66 runners for health and safety reasons.
15 The smallest field of runners was in 1883 when just 10 horses faced the starter for the Grand National race.
16 The media in 1883 baulked at the idea of running in the Grand National and claimed the Grand National obstacles were too small.
17 The 1883 Grand National was acknowledged to be a poor renewal, lacking strength in depth and Zoedone won the race in a slow 11 minutes 39.0 seconds time.
18 A Grand National horse can weigh up to a maximum of 12 stone 7 pounds (175 pounds).
19 The Grand National Weights are determined by the horse’s official rating as the racing event is a handicap race.
20 Any horse who carries a top weight of over 12 stone and wins the Grand National is an exceptional horse.
Grand National Winner Statistics
1 The horse racing trainer with the highest amount of Grand National winners are:
George Dockeray – 4 wins
Fred Rimell – 4 wins
Ginger McCain – 4 wins
2 The horse with the highest amount of Grand National wins is Red Rum.
Red Rum won the Grand National three times in 1973, 1974 and 1977 to make him the most successful horse in Grand National history.
3 Mr Frisk is the horse who holds the fastest winning time for grand national victory in 1990.
The fastest ever time is the 8 minutes 47.8 seconds by Mr Frisk who was trained by Kim Bailey and ridden by Mr Marcus Armitage.
4 The slowest time was in the first Grand National back in 1839 when it took Lottery 14m 53s to win the race.
5 The grand national winning times over the past decade have been an average of 9 minutes and 10 seconds (9m 10s).
6 The shortest-priced winner in Grand National history was Poethlyn at 11-4 in 1919.
Poethlyn had won the ‘War National’ (an unofficial substitute for the Grand National), run the previous year.
Then was sent off at an 11-4 short odds favourite to back up that win and he did so in fine style winning by eight lengths.
7 There have been 13 female horses winning the Grand National.
The most recent mare was Nickel Coin back in 1951, but in Grand National history a total of thirteen mares have won the Grand National race.
8 The oldest age to win the Grand National is 15 years old.
In oldest Grand National winner in history was recorded in 1853 when Peter Simple won at the age of 15.
Peter Simple is the eldest horse to ever win the Grand National aged fifteen.
9 There have been 4 times a grey horse has won the Grand National.
Three different grey horses have won the Aintree Grand National as The Lamb won it twice in 1868 and 1871.
The 3 different grey horses to secure victory in the Grand National a total of 4 times are:
The Lamb (1868 and 1871)
Nicolaus Silver (1961)
Neptune Collonges (2012)
10 The jockey who has won the most Grand Nationals is George Stevens.
With a total of five wins, the most successful jockey in the whole history of the Grand National remains George Stevens.
The final triumph came in 1870 for George Stevens to secure his fifth victory.
11 In the last 50 years, the favourite has won the Grand National 8 times.